Capital Investigation

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Since the Justice Department launched its nationwide manhunt to track down and arrest anyone involved with the Capitol breach on January 6, hundreds of perpetrators have been arrested.

Most face misdemeanor charges for trespassing or disorderly conduct, but dozens are in jail and denied bond for the thoughtcrime of believing the 2020 presidential election wasn’t on the up-and-up. The acting U.S. attorney general overseeing the investigation promises to apprehend hundreds more, however, it’s been two weeks since authorities have arrested anyone in connection to the probe.

Almost as embarrassing as the bad behavior of a handful of Trump supporters that day is the conduct of the national news media and Washington lawmakers. The country has been subjected to a public group therapy session of sorts wherein grown adults—Republicans and Democrats alike, elected to defend the country at all costs—now recount their harrowing experiences on January 6, which include running away from no one in particular or insisting, without evidence, that they were on the verge of being “murdered.”

The media continue to promote any number of fabricated storylines intended to bolster the laughable narrative of an “insurrection” occurring at the Capitol. The concocted account of the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick recently fell apart; the New York Times, after pressure from outlets including American Greatness, effectively retracted its January 8 article claiming Sicknick was killed by a fire extinguisher at the hands of Trump “loyalists.”

So now it’s time to straighten out another twisted tale animating the folklore of January 6: The idea the random chaos amounted to an “armed insurrection.” Hundreds of crazed Trumpists carrying deadly weapons, the public believes, stormed the Capitol to injure or kill senators, representatives, and even Vice President Mike Pence in order to avenge a “stolen” election.

Most news outlets—as they did with the coverage of Sicknick’s death—unflinchingly repeat the “armed insurrection” trope, which can be traced back to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s January 7 press conference. “[Y[esterday, the President of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America, the gleeful desecration of the US Capitol…and the violence targeting Congress are horrors that will forever stay in our nation’s history,” Pelosi ranted.

But like everything else that exits the mouth of the Speaker of the House, her description isn’t only flat wrong but also manufactured for wicked political purposes.

When a thinking person hears the word “armed,” he usually thinks of a firearm, or a gun. Yet here is how the Justice Department describes the trove of deadly weapons seen at the Capitol that day: “During the course of the violent protests, several violent protestors were armed with weapons including bats, pepper spray, sticks, zip ties, as well as bulletproof vests and anti-tear gas masks.” (The zip ties, it’s important to note, weren’t brought into the building by Trumpists but by law enforcement officials.)

I reviewed the charges filed against the more than 200 people arrested for criminal misconduct related to January 6 and found only 14 defendants face any sort of weapons charge. Offenses vary; indictments range from possession of a “deadly” weapon on “restricted” grounds to assaulting a police officer.

But so far, just two people have been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm—and there’s no proof either man “breached” the Capitol let alone threatened lawmakers as part of a coordinated, armed insurrection.

Lonnie Coffman, 70, was indicted by a D.C. grand jury on January 11 with 17 firearms violations. Around 1 p.m. on January 6, Capitol Police, according to charging documents, noticed what appeared to be a gun on the front seat of a pickup truck parked near the Capitol. Cops searched the vehicle and found a handgun, a rifle, loaded magazines, and mason jars filled with material they believed were components to make Molotov cocktails. When Coffman arrived near his vehicle at around 6:30 p.m., he was questioned by police; they discovered two small handguns in his pockets.

Federal authorities threw the book at Coffman, a veteran with no criminal record.

But although he’s been charged with more than a dozen violations of D.C.’s strict gun possession laws, Coffman has not been charged with using his guns, ammunition, or the alleged Molotov cocktails. Further, it’s worth noting that aside from the two pistols found on his person, the other contraband was locked in his truck as the “insurrection” occurred.

The FBI isn’t finished with Coffman yet; agents raided his remote Alabama home on January 26. He’s currently being held in a D.C. jail without bail.

Christopher Alberts was arrested near the Capitol the evening of January 6 after police found a 9 mm handgun and ammunition in his possession. The Maryland resident has been charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm on Capitol grounds or building, one count of carrying a pistol without a license, one count of possession of ammunition, and one count of trespassing.

Again, although Alberts was detained near the Capitol, prosecutors do not allege he entered the building or attempted to use his weapon on January 6.

Here is a roundup of the non-firearm “dangerous and deadly” weapons charges:

  • Zachary Alam, nicknamed “Helmet Boy,” is charged with assaulting an officer with a deadly weapon although it’s unclear if the weapon used was the helmet he found on the ground or his body. (Documents allege Alam “pushed his body up against one of the Capitol Police officers guarding the door.”) Alam was near Ashli Babbitt when she was shot and killed by a still-unidentified police officer.
  • Richard Barnett, the man pictured behind Pelosi’s desk, faces two charges of unlawfully possessing a “dangerous or deadly weapon,” which, according to prosecutors, was a “ZAP Hike N Strike 950,000 Volt Stun Gun Walking Stick” he carried with him on January 6. He did not use it.
  • Scott Fairlamb faces a 12-count indictment including assaulting an officer and “entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon.” Fairlamb had a small collapsible baton; it’s unclear whether he entered the Capitol at any time.
  • Robert Gieswien, found with a baseball bat and pepper spray, is charged with “assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon.”
  • Alex Harkrider and Ryan Nichols are being charged together; they face 13 counts, including four related to possession or use of “deadly or dangerous” weapons. Nichols is accused of using pepper spray on an officer—he allegedly sprayed the irritant on a crowd which included officers attempting to secure the building—and carrying a crowbar into the Capitol. Harkrider is charged with illegally possessing an axe on government property. Investigators gleaned most of their evidence from posts on the defendants’ social media accounts.
  • Emanuel Jackson is charged with striking police officers outside the Capitol with a baseball bat.
  • Edward Lamb, according to charging documents, “swung, thrusted, and/or jabbed the [baseball] bat at law enforcement officers multiple times” outside the Capitol. He faces 11 counts including three related to use of a deadly weapon.
  • Patrick McCaughey was directly behind Officer Daniel Hodges when he was crushed in a doorway by the mob. McCaughey faces three weapon-related charges; the weapon was a police riot shield he found on the scene.
  • Matthew Miller is charged with using a deadly weapon—a fire extinguisher—outside the Capitol. Miller allegedly sprayed the contents toward officers.
  • Jordan Mink is accused of using a “deadly weapon,” a baseball bat, on “unrestricted” grounds. (Mink is photographed smashing in a window.) In denying bond, a federal magistrate stated that January 6 was “a horrendous crime against our democracy that Mr. Mink not only participated in, but was a very active and violent participant.”
  • Robert Sanford, initially believed to be the suspect who injured Sicknick, is charged with throwing a fire extinguisher and striking three officers. (Investigators said the object “appeared” to be a fire extinguisher.) The retired Pennsylvania fireman also is being held without bond.

So, as Joe Biden likes to say, let’s be clear: Not one person has been charged with possessing or using a gun inside the Capitol. Further, no one has been identified as carrying a gun inside the building. Of the hundreds of photographs posted on the FBIs Most Wanted List for the Capitol breach investigation, not a single picture shows anyone with a firearm.

Only one defendant had a handgun on his person outside the building hours after the “insurrection” ended. The other defendant had two guns on his person but investigators don’t allege he was inside the Capitol on January 6.

At least 100,000 attended Trump’s speech that day; fewer than 1,000 “stormed” the Capitol. A few hundred have been arrested and only 14 face weapons charges. Those “deadly and dangerous” weapons include two baseball bats, a can of pepper spray, a walking stick/stun gun, an axe, a few fire extinguishers (one in question), a helmet, a riot shield, and a collapsible baton. And at no time did this random weaponry pose a lethal threat to lawmakers inside the Capitol.

Do the idiots who used any sort of weapon to harm an officer or damage property deserve to pay for their stupid and violent actions? Yes.

Was January 6, 2021 an “armed insurrection” or anything close?


About Julie Kelly

Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President. Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street JournalThe HillChicago TribuneForbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. After college graduation, she served as a policy and communications consultant for several Republican candidates and elected officials in suburban Chicago. She also volunteered for her local GOP organization. After staying home for more than 10 years to raise her two daughters, Julie began teaching cooking classes out of her home. She then started writing about food policy, agriculture, and biotechnology, as well as climate change and other scientific issues. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1990 with a degree in communications and minor degrees in political science and journalism. Julie lives in suburban Chicago with her husband, two daughters, and (unfortunately) three dogs.

The other scandal of the Capitol riot

The other scandal of the Capitol riot

© Bonnie Cash

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer has shown the outrage of many citizens when he declared the Capitol riot to be the Pearl Harbor for this era that “will live forever in infamy.” It was certainly infamous but several doubt whether these two tragic events can truly be compared, given the 2,400 Americans killed in the attack that forced the country to enter into World War Two. But part of the issue for Pearl Harbor was that the United States was warned about it and failed to take precautions.

History may show that, due to a lack of preparations, the Capitol riot was indeed a modern day Pearl Harbor. Many Americans are familiar with the negligence of the military leaders of Pearl Harbor after being warned to expect an attack. Planes on the aircraft carriers were parked wingtip to wingtip, no torpedo nets were deployed, and the battleship row was so full that it would be hard for a dive bomber to miss a target.

Moreover, it was the third such attack on the base. In 1932, United States Admiral Harry Yarnell carried out almost the same attack to demonstrate the real vulnerability of Pearl Harbor, using aircraft carriers, radio silence, radar evasion, and similar basic routes. He even conducted the attack on a Sunday when he knew the Navy would be most off guard. Another mock aircraft carrier attack in 1938 also produced similar results.


Like these events for Pearl Harbor, the Capitol is trained for protests and breaches. Law enforcement has been on edge due to violent protests in Washington last summer, including one that had forced the first family to shelter briefly in the White House bunker. So as the Capitol riot unfolded, many of us had just been amazed by the ease of the breach.

Any issues, however, were shoved aside by the second impeachment of Donald Trump. Democrats insisted this was an actual insurrection led by him. House leaders refused to hold one single hearing before their snap impeachment and refused to call witnesses for weeks before the Senate trial to confirm facts on the warnings before the Capitol riot.

Few facts have been confirmed but they raise troubling issues. Congress was warned of possible violence last month by the administration and law enforcement agencies. A National Guard presence was offered before but declined. Though large crowds were expected, Capitol police deployed a small force with roughly 1,800 officers facing off more than 8,000 rioters. District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser had limited the National Guard presence before the protests to help out with traffic control.

We also have some contradictions on the record. Resigned Capitol police chief Steven Sund stated he asked for National Guard troops six times but was denied the support. He said House sergeant at arms Paul Irving felt it would be bad optics. With demanding Sund to step down, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said he has not called “since this happened” but Sund insists he briefed her twice the day of the riot. There are also accounts of a delay for additional support as Capitol police waited for approval.

Sund and Senate sergeant at arms Michael Stenger were forced to resign with other officials. So they may be the riot versions of Admiral Husband Kimmel and Lieutenant General Walter Short, the two commanders held accountable for the Pearl Harbor disaster, despite rumors that powerful officials in Washington shared responsibility with the attack. Years later, the Senate would vote to clear their names for the calamity.


Pelosi added to concerns with her pick of retired General Russel Honore to lead an investigation into security at the Capitol. She did not consult others, and few Republicans would have supported her choice, because Honore was a critic of Trump and other Republicans. He swiftly reached conclusions on the attack that paralleled the views of Pelosi.

For an interview two days after the attack, without any facts for support, Honore said there were “complicit actions by Capitol police” and “people need to go to jail.” He also condemned Sund and wrote that Senator Josh Hawley and Senator Ted Cruz should be run out of town with their “high order white privilege” for allegedly supporting the riot. All this from the man that Pelosi has appointed to conduct an unbiased review.

For many Americans, that may be unnecessary. The second impeachment drilled home a narrative to blame Trump. Pelosi said he should be charged as an accessory to murder all “because he instigated that insurrection that caused those deaths and this destruction.” Ultimately, if framing scandals in Washington is an art, then Pelosi is our resident Rembrandt.

None of this would relieve Trump of his own responsibility. I condemned his address to the crowd and his reckless role in the riot. But there is also now sufficient evidence to suggest the vulnerabilities were really due to Congress itself. Schumer may be right that the day will live in infamy yet few in Washington are eager to confirm the list of who is liable.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law with George Washington University. He was called by House Republicans as a witness in the impeachment hearings for Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, and has also consulted Senate Republicans on the legal precedents of impeachment in advance of the latest trial. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

The Ferguson Lie

one of the most significant events of this century happened early afternoon of August 9 2014 it took place in Ferguson Missouri a city on the outskirts of st. Louis so embedded in the popular mind is this event that you just say the name Ferguson everyone knows what you’re talking about police brutality and racial injustice President Barack Obama referred to it in a speech before the United Nations in September 2014 I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson Missouri where a young man was killed and a community was divided so yes we have our own racial and ethnic tensions the president understated the case the shooting in Ferguson led to nights of riots and gave fuel to a new social movement black lives matter given its historical importance it would be useful then to make sure we have our facts straight so here’s a quiz to test your knowledge first question true or false a young unarmed black man Michael Brown 19 was killed by a white police officer Darren Wilson the answer is true true or false Wilson stopped brown for no good reason false Wilson driving a police SUV had just received a call on his radio that a local convenience store had been robbed he saw two men walking in the middle of the nearby street who met the description of the store thieves Wilson drove up to them when he asked the two men to move to the sidewalk one of the men Michael Brown refused officer Wilson then attempted to get out of his car but Brown blocked the door punching the officer through the open window as Brown tried to grab Wilson’s gun a struggle ensued Wilson managed to fire his gun wounding Brown in the hand true or false Michael Brown’s back was turned to officer Wilson when he was shot and killed false after being shot in the hand Brown ran away from the police car Wilson got out of the vehicle and pursued him Brown then suddenly turned and charged officer Wilson here’s how one witness who testimony closely fits the forensic evidence described the scene Brown ran towards the officer full charge the officer fired several shots at him and Mike Brown continuously came forward in the charging motion and when he stopped that’s when the officer ceased fire when he charged once more the officer returned fire with I would say three to four shots and that’s when Mike Brown finally collapsed the brown family’s own medical expert respected pathologist dr. Michael Baden also conceded this point the wounds Brown suffered were consistent with Brown charging toward Wilson not running away true or false before Michael Brown was shot and killed he raised his hands above his head and shouted hands up don’t shoot false federal investigators from the Department of Justice found no credible evidence that Brown ever raised his hands and they don’t shoot gesture or in any way heated the officers commands for him to surrender the federal report concluded that witnesses who originally stated Brown had his hands up in surrender recanted their original accounts admitting that they did not witness the shooting or parts of it investigators also concluded Brown never uttered the now iconic phrase again from the report the media has widely reported that there is witness testimony that Brown said don’t shoot as he held his hands above his head in fact our investigation did not reveal any eyewitness who stated that Brown said don’t shoot where did this phrase come from then the best guess is that it was made up by Brown’s companion Dorian Johnson immediately after the shooting witnesses described him saying the police shot my friend and his hands were up and like a game of telephone the phrase spread quickly throughout the neighborhood morphing into hands up don’t shoot picked up and amplified by the media it then became an anthem for activists true or false a local grand jury investigation and a federal investigation both concluded that Officer Wilson was justified in his use of force true the local grand jury and the federal investigation supervised by Attorney General Eric Holder reached the same conclusion Officer Wilson did nothing wrong there was no basis on which to prosecute him here’s how hair the McDonald of the Manhattan Institute put it in her book the war on cops it was not a question of evidence not supporting high threshold civil rights charges it was a question of evidence eviscerating virtually every aspect of the program anti Wilson narrative there’s another way to put this the statement that an innocent black man was killed by a racist cop in Ferguson Missouri is a lie those who say otherwise are either willfully deceiving you for their own purposes or are wholly ignorant of the facts now you know act accordingly I’m Larry elder for Prager University thank you for watching this video to keep Prager you videos free please consider making a tax-deductible donation you

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George Floyd death retold & reviewed

No one in the media thought to tell us that in fact using a need to restrain an uncooperative suspect
is the official policy of the minneapolis police department in fact it’s taught at the police
academy you’re seeing a slide from training from the academy on your screen right now but you didn’t see that slide
last summer because our media were busy building a murder case against eric chauvin
and using it to transform this country which they successfully have nor did anyone in the press think to
report what happened before derek chauvin put his knee on george floyd’s neck
authorities in minnesota made certain that no one could see the body cam footage that showed it
body cams exist so that we can know what happened but they hid this footage and we only saw it because the daily
mail which is from great britain and therefore slightly less terrified and dishonest than our own media
are got a copy of it the body cam video showed officers working for about 20 minutes trying to detain a man
who they believe had just committed a crime passing a fake twenty dollar bill a man who clearly had lost all sense of
reality the footage showed george floyd begging officers to stay with him
he was clearly suffering the tape is wrenching to watch it really is and by the end you are
filled with sympathy for george floyd but it’s not the picture of a murder the incident began
around 8 pm on may 24th when a grocery clerk called police to report that george floyd had used a counterfeit bill
officers found floyd in a car nearby immediately it was very obvious that something was very wrong with george
floyd hands on top of your head step out of the vehicle and step away
from me all right step out and face away step out and face away please don’t shoot me please man i’m not gonna shoot
you step out and face away i’m gonna get out man please don’t shoot me man
i just lost my mom man please man please please i didn’t know man
so george floyd was emotionally out of control and that’s why you feel so deeply for
george floyd some of us did i did as you watch that video he’s panicked he’s terrified he’s hysterical
the question is why the minneapolis police department does not have some fabled history of police brutality it
just doesn’t and this certainly wasn’t george floyd’s first encounter with law enforcement
from 1997 to 2007 texas police arrested george floyd a total of nine times on charges ranging from drug possession to
theft then on august 9 2007 george floyd barged into a woman’s home and held
a gun to her abdomen in front of her toddler it was a home invasion and george floyd got five years in
prison for participating in it so he’d been in custody before why was george floyd on the verge of hysteria
the police officers wondered the same thing you’ve got foam around your mouth said one cop to floyd a bystander
looking on said to george floyd you’re going to die of a heart attack police then asked floyd if he had taken
drugs are you wanting something right now nothing cause you actually all right
let’s go [Music] are you on something right now the
police officer asked no says george floyd but that wasn’t close to true
according to the hennepin county medical examiner’s office george floyd wasn’t simply high
he had a lethal dose of fentanyl in his system he also had methamphetamine the autopsy report showed that floyd had
11 nanograms of fentanyl per millimeter of blood in a system when he was tested at the hospital how much is that
it’s more than three times the amount of fentanyl required to kill a healthy person again that’s not our
judgment that’s directly from the autopsy report the one that people didn’t see until
after the riots quote signs associated with fentanyl toxicity include severe respiratory depression
seizures hypotension coma and death in fatalities from fentanyl blood concentrations are variable and have
been reported as low as three nanograms of fentanyl per millimeter of blood now no one is denying this the floyd
family’s own lawyer admits that it’s true quote it’s true that the hennepin county
medical examiner’s autopsy showed that floyd had fentanyl in his system he conceded
but then he insisted that george floyd was actually killed by racism in fact the medical examiner and
you can read this online found that george floyd’s heart was diseased a memorial day it finally gave
way according to a press release from the medical examiner’s office floyd’s quote
cause of death was carter-pulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement
subdual restraint and neck compressions contributing factors included quote arthroscopic and hypertensive
heart disease fentanyl intoxication recent methamphetamine use according to the report george floyd
also was infected with covid that’s a lot in august after months of rioting documents related to the autopsy
were finally released in court one was a memo detailing a conversation the prosecutor’s office had with andrew
baker baker was the chief hennepin hennepin county medical examiner
baker told prosecutors that quote mr floyd if he had been found dead in his home or
anywhere else and there were no other contributing factors we would conclude it was an overdose
death the memo noted that baker said floyd’s fentanyl levels were
pretty high and that it is a fatal level of fentanyl under normal circumstances end quote
in a separate memo baker announced quote the autopsy revealed no physical evidence suggesting that mr
floyd died of asphyxiation well mr floyd was having trouble
breathing of course the most noted part of the tape what explains that
why was george floyd telling officers i can’t breathe well here’s one possible explanation
one of the primary symptoms of fentanyl overdose is quote slowed or stopped breathing
leading to unconsciousness and death that might also explain while george floyd was saying i can’t breathe long
before any police officer’s knee was anywhere near him in fact george floyd was
complaining that he couldn’t breathe as cops tried to get him in a police car as he resisted
i’ll roll the window down okay man again no one can watch that footage without feeling
sympathy for the man in handcuffs he’s terrified but does that footage amount to a murder
no it doesn’t it so clearly doesn’t the problem is that nobody saw that footage during the riots last summer or before
them they weren’t allowed to see it and that could be why last june 60 of respondents in the usa today ipsos poll
described george floyd’s death as a murder that was then more facts have emerged from behind the
media blackout including the tape we just showed you and that perception has changed accordingly and it’s changed
dramatically the percentage of americans who believe george floyd was murdered
has now dropped by double digits it’s down to 36 percent in other words the question of whether
george floyd was murdered is in fact disputed by a majority of americans
the bad news is you’re still not allowed to say that out loud you

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